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Secrets Of Salah – 24

Salam,
Bismillah.

Page 27 & 28..

The spirit of ruku is that the slave utterly abases and humbles himself before his Lord in a way that his heart is cleansed and purged of reverence for anyone other than Allah, his own self as well as the rest of creation, for his heart should be replete with awe for Allah alone. As the awe of Allah overcomes his heart, awe of creation departs from it, and his humility actually increases. Thus, the ruku is really meant for the heart.

Then he praises his Lord, as he straightens his back and assumes an upright position. This praise is because Allah guided him, and blessed him with the ability to perform ruku in an expression of humility, which must be reserved for Allah alone. Then He restored him to his upright posture, standing at Allah’s service before Him, just as he stood during his recitation. Therefore, he has been told to glorify and extol Allah.

The interval between the ruku and sajdah has a special sweetness, which is experienced by the heart. It is a special rite of salat just like ruku and sajdah. And the Prophet (sallaallahu alayhi wa salam) used to prolong it just as he used to prolong ruku and sajdah, and abundantly glorify Allah therein. And during tahajjud, the Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wasalam) would specially repeat over and over: “For my Lord is all praise, for my Lord is all praise, for my Lord is all praise.”

Then the slave reads takbeer and draws near and falls down in prostration. Each limb of his body participates in the devotion inherent in sajdah. Thus, he places his forhead on the ground before his Lord, rubbing his nose before Him, surrendering his heart, and presenting his body’s noblest feature i.e his face on the ground. Thus, he places his spiritual core along with his physical face in prostration before his Master, with humility of his limbs trembling before the Majesty of his Lord, surrendering to His Might, and turning back to Him as a destitute pauper. His heart performs sajdah in conformity with his body, so (both) the body and spirit bow towards Allah. And as he places his nose, his face, both his hands and both his knees and feet on the ground, he is as close as he can ever get to Allah.

And the Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salam) said:

“The nearest a slave can be to his Lord is while he is prostrating.”

When his heart prostrates in absolute surrender to his Lord, this sajdah is allowed to continue till the Day of Judgment. Some scholars were asked, ‘Does the heart perform sajdah?’ they replied, ‘Yes, by Allah. And this is a sajdah from which he does not raise his head until he meets Allah.’

This is to emphasize the utter adoration, surrender, yearning, and absorption of his heart in Allah wherever he may be, and his concentration upon Allah whether he is alone or in company.

To be continued…

Wassalam.

Secrets Of Salah – 18

Salam,
Bismillah.

Page 21..

The Most Gracious, The repeatedly Merciful (1:2), and the devotion of these words comprises a testimony to the Rububiyyah of Allah alone; just as He is the Solicitous Lord of the Cosmos, The creator, The Provider, and The One who regulates their affairs, The One who brought all creation into existence, and The One who enriches them. So He alone is their God, their Deity, their Sanctuary, and their Refuge in times of distress and vicissitudes, and they have no Lord save He, and no God save He.

These words also have a special connotation of devotion and slave hood. It is the slave’s testimony regarding his Lord’s mercy, and His mercy enfolds all of creation, and every creature in existence has his particular share of the Divine Mercy. A special manifestation of Allah’s mercy is in the slave actually standing before his Lord. It says in some narrations that Gibriel (AS) says every night, “Arise, so and so, and sleep so and so.” So, by His mercy upon the slave, Allah made him stand at His service; whispering to Him, invoking His mercy and love, asking Him for His guidance and mercy, and beseeching Allah for all worldly and spiritual blessings. This is a manifestation of Allah’s mercy upon His slave. His mercy encompasses all things, just as His praise and Knowledge encompass all things.

O our Lord you encompass all things in mercy and knowledge (40:7).

The lesson inherent in the words, Master of The Day of Judgment (1:3), is that the slave must acquire humility, and he must be just towards all, and always uphold justice, and always restrain himself from oppression and disobedience. He should reflect upon his preparations for the Last Day, and how sovereignty and power on that day will belong solely to Allah; this will be a Day when He will requite creation for their good and evil deeds, and this invokes praise for Allah.

To be continued…

Wassalam.

 

Secrets Of Salah – 13

Salam,
Bismillah.

Page 16..

When the slave begins his recitation of the Quran, he is in the position of one secretly whispering to his Lord. So let him beware of incurring his Lord’s anger in any way. If he is whispering to his Lord and addressing Him, but his heart is focused on something else, distracted by other than Allah, then he will invoke Allah’s anger. He will be in the position of a man whom a mighty King, from the monarchs of the world, summoned. The King had the man brought to stand before Him and began addressing him, but the man turned away from the King and began looking right and left. Thus, he fails to understand what the King is saying. How great would be the King’s anger at such a one? So what do you think would be the reaction of the true King, Lord of the cosmos, the sustainer of the heavens and the earth, to such a man?

Therefore, it is necessary for the one praying to pause momentarily after each word of Al-Fatiha, awaiting the response of his Lord, as though he could hear him say,

“My slave has praised Me”, in response to his own affirmation:

All praise is for Allah, Lord of the worlds. (1:1)

And when the slave says,

The most Gracious, the Repeatedly Merciful. (1:2)

He should pause for a second awaiting the Divine response:

“My slave has extolled Me.”

And when the slave says,

Master of the Day of Judgment. (1:3)

He should wait for the divine response:

“My slave has glorified Me”

And when he says,

You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help. (1:4)

He should wait for the Divine response,

“This is between Me and My slave.”

And when he says,

Guide us to the straight path…

till the ending of the prayer , he should wait for the Divine response,

“This is for My slave and My slave shall have what he asks for.”

To be continued…

Wassalam.

 

Secrets of Salah – 8

Salam,
Bismillah.

Page 8 and 9..

The first performs all actions in accordance with Allah’s commands and nearness to Him. The second performs his actions in violation of Allah’s laws, for Allah had not granted him wealth and power etc so that he should disobey Him. Thus, he is a treacherous upstart, one who betrays his God-given trusts. He will be punished for his misuse of blessings, and for daring to use the divine favors in rebellion against Allah. As for the third, he performs his actions in heedlessness, obsessed by desires, consumed by insatiable greed. And he did not utilize these blessings in seeking Allah’s pleasure and His nearness. He is a clear failure, for he wasted the priceless moments of his life, and squandered his opportunity to gain profit in the supreme trade.

So Allah invites His believing, monotheistic slaves to the five daily prayers as a mercy, and He prepares for them all manners of devotion so that they may gain their share of the divine gifts by every word and deed, and in their movement and in their stillness. Thus, the secret of salat and its innermost core is the heart’s advancing towards Allah and focusing on His presence with every fiber of his being.

If the slave does not concentrate on Allah, and is distracted by other than Him and gets lost in his own thoughts, he is like a delegate who has been summoned by the King to apologize for his mistakes. But when he reaches the King’s door, and is conversing with Him, he turns away and starts looking left and right.  He turns his back to the King, and becomes preoccupied with the object the King detests most. He deems this meeting insignificant and chooses that hateful object over the king, and makes it the Qiblah of his heart, the object of his attention, and the repository of his secret. He sends his own servants to stand before the king in his service, in his stead, so they may apologize on his belhalf, and the king is watching this person’s state. It is only the King’s generosity, grace and bounty that he did not turn those servants away from Himself, and He still conferred mercy and grace upon them.

[Translator’s Note: The analogy is straight forward. It represents the distracted heart which should have been concentrating upon asking forgiveness. The servants sent by him, to take his place are his physical limbs which mechanically perform salat, as though it were a set of physical exercises, and as though he has switched on a kind of auto pilot.]

It is like the inevitable difference between the grand booties of war received by those who have major shares in the booty, and the paltry allowance of one who has no share.

“And each will have a share from what they did and he will recompense them for their deeds and they will not be wronged.” (46:19)

To be continued…

Wassalam.

Secrets Of Salah – 3

Salam,
Bismillah.

Page 3..

Drought and famine repeatedly attack the heart and soul; therefore Allah renews the invitation to His banquet for His slave time and time again, five times a day as His special mercy. Each time the slave stands before his master appealing for divine kindness, his thirst is quenched by the one who sends spiritual rain for the hearts and clouds bearing the rain, so that the vegetation of Imaan does not wither and the fruits of goodness do not waste away, and so the heart may constantly be watered and nurtured by the rain of Divine Mercy.

The drought of the heart is heedlessness, and as long as the slave is in a state of remembering Allah and advancing towards Him, the rain of divine mercy falls upon him in gentle succession like continuous rain drops. But if he becomes heedless, his heart is afflicted with famine, in proportion to the extent of his heedlessness. Were heedlessness to become part of his nature, his heart would become like a dry barren desert, and the wild fire of worldly desires and lusts would wreak havoc in that desert, raging from all directions like a hot wind.  And his land would become barren, though it had been fertile once, with all kinds of fruits and vegetations. Yet if the rain of Divine mercy were to fall upon it, it could once again bloom, and flower and revert to its original state of beauty and lush greenery.

To be continued…

Wassalam.

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